What is Government?

Government is the system of people, laws and officials that define and control your country. Governments are made up of three branches: the Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Each branch has different responsibilities, but they all work together to make sure our rules and laws are followed. Governments are mainly concerned with public life, but many of the laws they establish and enforce can affect private life too.

When it comes to the people, governments are there to protect their interests, including preserving natural resources and providing education and health care. In addition, they can help citizens with problems that are too big for individuals to handle, such as ensuring a safe national environment and protecting the nation from attack. Governments can also protect the rights of all people, such as guaranteeing freedom of speech and religion. Governments can also help people with money and property, such as by providing unemployment benefits or paying for college.

In the United States, our Government is run by the President, who works with his Cabinet and Congress to make policy and draft laws. The President has the power to veto laws that he thinks are not in the best interest of our Nation, and Congress can override a Presidential veto with enough votes. The President also nominates Supreme Court and other Judges, and Congress can approve or reject those nominations. The judicial branch interprets laws, making sure that they agree with the Constitution.

A Government can be formed by one person (an autocracy, such as a monarchy), a select group of people (an aristocracy), or all the people (a democracy). The form of government that a country chooses is often influenced by factors like climate or geographic location, social and cultural conditions, economic organization and intellectual and philosophical influences.

Governments have the power to tax people and print money, and they can use the force of the military to compel citizens to follow their laws. Governments must make sure that the taxes they collect are fairly distributed, and that they provide goods and services that are useful to all citizens. This is called social justice. In addition, all citizens have the right to access the information used by their Government to make decisions, so that they can hold it accountable. This is a fundamental principle of our democracy.